Written by PETA
Former "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss knows what it's like to be behind bars—and ever since she inherited dozens of exotic birds from an acquaintance who passed away, she's learned firsthand that humans aren't the only ones whose needs aren't met in captivity.
Heidi was fortunate enough to be able to turn part of her home into a huge aviary where her birds can fly free and are never caged, but as she points out, most people who buy birds have no idea how to care for these complex animals. Many people keep birds caged for their entire lives—some birds are kept in cages so small that they are prevented from even stretching their wings, let alone flying.
That's why Heidi is teaming up with PETA to pressure one major purveyor of imprisoned parrots: PetSmart. She'll be speaking on PETA's behalf at PetSmart's annual meeting this Wednesday. Pointing out how much birds suffer in captivity as well as the abysmal record of neglect and abuse by PetSmart's stores and animal suppliers, Heidi will ask the company to begin phasing out the sale of all birds.
Go get 'em, Heidi! We know you're an expert at turning heads—now let's see you change some minds.
Written by Amanda Schinke
PETA is poised to take the mic on Wednesday to speak in behalf of chickens at McDonald's shareholder meeting in Oakbrook, Illinois. We're all set to grill CEO Jim Skinner and plan on asking him to change the way that his restaurants' suppliers slaughter birds by switching to controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK), a less cruel slaughter method.
For years, we've tried to convince McDonald's to require its suppliers to use CAK, which would eliminate some of the worst abuses suffered by the millions of chickens who are turned into McNuggets every year. But despite our efforts, the company still refuses to implement CAK.
After the meeting at 12 noon, we'll lead a protest at a nearby McDonald's restaurant, during which two PETA members will soak in "bloody" water to draw attention to the fact that many chickens at slaughterhouses that supply McDonald's are boiled alive in scalding-hot water.
If you live in the Chicago area, feel free to join the festivities!
Written by Karin Bennett
Being a shareholder of a major company can come with perks. I once got a free pen for attending Smithfield Foods' annual meeting. I got a coupon (which I used for a veggie burger) at another shareholder meeting.
OK, so those types of perks aren't anything to write home about. The real "perk" for us—which is the reason that we purchase stock in animal-abusing companies in the first place—is the chance to have a voice in the inner workings of a company like Hormel Foods, the meatpacking giant based out of Austin, Minnesota.
This week, we cashed in on that perk, so to speak, by submitting a shareholder resolution calling on the company to include information on its packaging disclosing every piece of meat's greenhouse-gas "footprint" on the world. Doing more damage than all the automobiles and airplanes in the world combined, it's the meat industry that contributes most to global warming. And we're not the only ones who think it's smart to clue consumers in: Some food companies are already printing per-serving greenhouse-gas emissions levels on product labels.
Now, as a result of our resolution, all Hormel investors—from Joe Schmoe, who might own a dozen shares, up to the largest major banking firm, which might own five to 10 percent of the company—will be able to read about all the ways that producing meat contributes to global warming, and more importantly, they'll have a chance to vote on whether they feel that Hormel should own up to its devastating eco-footprint.
You can read the full text of the resolution here.
Written by Matt Prescott, assistant director of Corporate Affairs
Imagine stumbling into a sticky substance so strong that you couldn't break away from it. Frantic, you struggle to pry yourself free, but all that happens is that you tear patches of your skin and hair off or get your mouth and nose stuck in it and start to suffocate.
That is exactly what mice, rats, birds, squirrels, hamsters, kittens, and other small animals stuck on glue traps endure. Some even try to chew off a paw in order to escape otherwise certain death. Some, helplessly trapped, die of dehydration. Motomco, which makes some of these little torture devices, is telling shoppers that one of its products is humane. George Orwell might be spinning in his grave.
Here's the scoop: Motomco puts a substance called eugenol in the trap, citing that it is a "naturally occurring anesthetic." Eugenol can be a pain reliever but only when it is injected into an animal's bloodstream or pumped directly into the stomach. But just as you don't get drunk by rolling around in alcohol, animals' pain isn't taken away when they come into contact with eugenol. In fact, studies show that eugenol can cause animals to suffer more by causing a painful burning sensation, vomiting, and nausea.
Is Motomco trying to sell its sticky glue traps by duping compassionate consumers who don't want to harm animals? We think so, and PETA has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) seeking action against the company for false advertising.
You can read our FTC complaint here. If you have purchased a Motomco trap, thinking it was a humane solution, or if you know people who have, please let us know!
Oh, and if this whole ordeal with Motomco weren't bad enough, Lowe's is still selling these terrible contraptions.
Written by Grace Friedan
She may have won rave reviews for her role in Iron Man, but Gwyneth Paltrow is getting nothing but rotten tomatoes from animal lovers everywhere this week. Gwyneth recently put aside her scripts and picked up a few dead animal skins to model for the Tods fall collection, including a fur shawl.
PETA has written to Ms. Paltrow numerous times about the hideous cruelty on fur farms, including that animals are skinned alive and kept in tiny cages for so long that they exhibit stereotypical behaviors. However, it appears that she didn't get the memo.
Here's what PETA President Ingrid Newkirk had to say about Paltrow's latest hobby:
Gwyneth Paltrow won't be the apple of her daughter's eye if she flaunts the skins of once-beautiful animals. Promoting an industry that electrocutes animals, snaps their necks, and skins them alive is a shocking example to set for a young child. Apparently, Paltrow's beauty really is only skin deep.
Paltrow may like to live the glamorous life, but there is nothing glam about paying others to slaughter animals for your clothes.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.